By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Red Sox have officially declined the $6.85 million 2021 option on starter Martin Perez, the team announced Sunday.
One of the team's only MLB-quality starters in a disastrous season, Perez went 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 62 innings of work over 12 starts. That 4.50 ERA was the 29-year-old lefty's best ERA since a 4.39 ERA with the Texas Rangers in 2016, and was a 0.62 drop from the 5.12 he posted with the Minnesota Twins in 2019.
Perez also established career-high marks in batting average against (.238) and WHIP (1.34), and truly seemed to enjoy the Red Sox experience, even without fans in the stands at Fenway Park.
“I want to be back next season,” Perez said at the end of the 2020 season. “I feel at home here.”
Beyond the stats, the club's obvious lack of quality arms — and with obvious health uncertainties surrounding lefties Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez in 2021 — makes the decision to move on from Perez is a bit puzzling. Then again, baseball is in the middle of its own economic crisis, and a frozen winter market may present the Red Sox with a cheaper option on the free agent market.
(Maybe Perez is that option, who knows.)
The Red Sox are expected to make a serious push to beef up their pitching this offseason, according to the Boston Globe's Alex Speier, with the Reds' Trevor Bauer (5-4, 1.73 ERA, and 100 strikeouts in 73 innings in 2020) headlining the list of available starters.